By COLlive reporter
An exhibit mocking Chabad at the Mechina-high school division of Yeshivas Ner Yisroel in Baltimore, Maryland, was dismissed as child’s play by its director.
Rabbi Simcha Cook, Menahel of Mechinas Ner Yisroel, admitted that the photos circulating on social media showing various displays about Chabad were authentic.
But in a phone conversation with COLlive.com, Cook stated that the photos which were shared on social media were “a gross invasion of privacy. It’s totally ridiculous that it was put on social media. I’m sure there are things in New Brunswick and Crown Heights that are not put on social media.”
The “Purim Shpiel” presentation was set up inside the high school building and outdoors as well.
It displays familiar scenes from Lubavitch Chassidic life such as a photo of the Rebbe in a sukkah, map of locations of Chabad centers, round-the-clock davening hours in Crown Heights, and Mivtzoim outreach activities for Chanukah and Sukkos.
But some of it was seen as disrespectful, even derisive, with a photo of the Rebbe in a mikvah, an exhibit of “send a fax ‘straight to heaven #Rebbe,'” using the Chabad acronym for “a donkey without a knowledge,” a sign “BD”H The Reba Died,” a “whack-a-hat station” with a hammer and fedoras, as well as a mock cemetery.
They have also closed off a room with look-alike bars to create a jail cell. Inside, they hung photos of the recently released Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin and a sign “Thank You Prez Trump” who pardoned him.
Rabbi Cook, the principal, said the entire display was “taken down.” He did not share details on how long it has been up, or whether the administration of the school was aware of its contents and when it was removed.
“It was done by 16-year-old kids who are in 11th grade,” he said. “It’s kids in school who put on Purim shtick. It’s not like the school advocated this as part of a policy of ‘let’s make fun of Chabad.'”
As for the uproar on social media, he said: “They shouldn’t get involved. Kids misbehave and it doesn’t have to end up on social media. It was a stupid little thing. I hope everyone gets on with it and continues to accomplish what Lubavitch is capable of accomplishing.”
VIDEO: Israel Clapman, a Crown Heights resident, speaks out